Justice League wasn’t terrible. Not particularly good, but not terrible. I feel like this is an important place to start regarding this review because a) you can skip the criticism if you want and b) to let you know there will be some positive things said about a DC film!
Justice League is a movie, now that I’ve slept one night on the film, feels like a movie that understands what it should be, even if it always isn’t that film. If nothing else, I feel like the second half of this film moved them into the direction they should be going. Engaging visuals that support character driven moments and action beats, with a good balance of darkness and lightness.
The script is really a mixed bag. For every Barry Allen quip (he is far and away the MVP of this movie), there was an unnecessary catch phrase. For every (totally justified) drag on Batman/Bruce Wayne, there was more introductions. Seriously, the first half of this movie is 75% introductions to characters. Some more engaging than other (hey Mera!) but still, for a movie that’s two hours long it still felt like it took too long to get to the meat of the story. The villain’s reasons for wanting to terraform earth ar basic, and I seriously hope they give a good in-universe reason for why Earth is at the center of these things at some point. The lameness of certain elements in the film threatens to drag the movie down tremendously.
Where the movie shines is in the teamwork and use of powers realm. Marvel has gotten this right, just look at how the Avengers fight with each other, and this movie, I think, matches them in that department. Barry Allen as the Flash gets so many standout scenes and Terrio and Whedon realize that his powers can be used in other areas except just running fast. Same with the super strength of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and the tech brilliance of Cyborg and Batman. It’s nice that the movie acknowledges the failings of the characters and where they need to grow, while still finding a way for them to work together.
With the exception of one big thing, this is Snyder’s most visually interesting film in a while. It all combined for what isn’t a bad time of the movies.
I think that to continue to review the film I have to get into spoiler below.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
Unless you’re clueless or living under a rock, you knew that Henry Cavil was coming back to play Superman. It was a “bold” move to kill him off at the end of BvS but he is a member of the Justice League, so he was guaranteed an appearance. It’s no surprise that once he gets back in the mix of things that the movie picks up when he gets brought back to life thanks to Barry creating a circuit that hits a Mother Box at the time Clark is in the fluid of the Kryptonian ship. 1) It brings Superman back to life and leads to a battle with the Justice League members that was amazing. Seriously, the moment of the film might be when Barry, running in the speed force, is eyed down by an enraged Clark before their super speed fight. There’s still some stuff lacking with Superman, but he’s trending right, now that he’s died and come back.
The one main issue with his presence in the film was the fact that you can clearly tell where the reshoot footage was because it looked a fucking mess. THE CGI’d off mustache footage is terrible looking and they better never do that again. I don’t care if they have to wait for an actor to finish shooting a movie before doing reshoots they need to do it to avoid this mess.
And finally, the biggest spoiler was that you actually see a Green Lantern! No not in the present day, where a thrice ravaged earth could use some extra help, but in a flashback scene to the first battle with Steppenwolf with the humans, Amazons, Atlanteans, and I believe Zeus. Nothing makes me madder about the DCEU than the fact that the Green Lanterns seem to be missing in action when it comes to helping save a planet that should have been under their protection by now. This is also a waste of an Easter egg because the Lanterns won’t be getting a movie for like another 3 years.